March 10th, 2010
07:00 PM ET

$10 billion spent on cosmetic procedures despite recession

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

What recession? Despite record unemployment, rising health care costs and sinking home values - Americans shelled out more than $10 billion on cosmetic surgery and other procedures last year.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/10/art.botox.jpg caption="A woman receives a Botox injection. "]
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery says there were almost 10 million surgical and non-surgical procedures done in the U.S. in 2009, that's down only two percent from the year before. At least we want to look good for the coming collapse.

About 85 percent of the procedures were non-surgical - things like Botox - which are cheaper than surgery. In total there were 2.5 million Botox injections, more than one million procedures with other chemical fillers and 1.3 million laser hair removals done.

As for surgery, the most popular procedure was breast augmentation. There were 300,000 of those surgeries - followed by liposuction and eyelid surgery.

Some insist there's a direct connection to the lousy economy. One plastic surgeon says a lot of people have cosmetic procedures done to increase their chances of finding a job; he says people think if they look better, they're more likely to get work, and beat out someone who doesn't look as good.

He says even the unemployed are getting work done: "That's their stimulus - spending money trying to get into the workforce."

What a country. As we told you yesterday in the Cafferty File - almost half of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, but millions of us are running off to the plastic surgeon.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that despite the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans spent more than $10 billion on cosmetic procedures last year?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 7pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Cosmetic Surgery • Recession
March 10th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Do PETA's euthanasia rates make them hypocritical?


A domestic shorthair cat waits to be adopted. (PHOTO CREDIT: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's something about PETA - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - that might surprise you.

AOL News reports that the organization euthanizes more than 90 percent of the dogs and cats sent to its Virginia headquarters. According to state records, PETA euthanized more than 2,300 dogs and cats in 2009 - or 97 percent of all those brought in. It adopted only eight.

By contrast - in 2008, the Norfolk SPCA adopted 86 percent of its dogs and cats while euthanizing only five percent. And the Norfolk, Virginia city pound euthanized about half of its dogs and cats last year.

Critics are fuming, saying PETA's numbers can't be "ethically rationalized." They insist shelters should only euthanize those animals that are too aggressive or have health issues. They shouldn't put them down merely because they don't have room for them.

But PETA tells a different story. They say the Virginia facility is not an adoption center but rather a "shelter of last resort," taking in those animals that other shelters reject. PETA says its "euthanasia program has never been a secret" and that it is only one of the many things they do to alleviate suffering of animals.

PETA says that it is worse for animals to be caged up in over-crowded shelters. They put the blame on breeders and pet shops that create six to eight million shelter animals every year, which is why they also promote spaying and neutering of pets.

The irony is PETA has a reputation for instantly jumping all over any group or individual who they consider guilty of poor treatment of animals. And some people might think putting animals to sleep falls into that category.

Here’s my question to you: Do PETA's euthanasia rates for animals make the group hypocritical?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Euthanasia
March 10th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Less likely to buy foreign car after Toyota scandal?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Finally some good news for Detroit. With Toyota recalling more than eight million vehicles worldwide - a new poll out suggests that fewer Americans are set on buying foreign cars.
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The Gallup Poll shows just six percent of those surveyed say they would only consider foreign brands when buying a car. That number is down from 15 percent in December 2008, when the government first considered a bailout of the U.S. auto industry.

Meanwhile the percentage of people who would consider only American cars stands at 36 percent.

Young adults represent the biggest drop in a preference for foreign cars. 18-to-34-year-olds used to be the most likely to say they would only buy foreign cars. Also young adults are now much more likely to say they would only consider American brands. And that's a good sign for the so-called Big 3 American car manufacturers - since these people will be buying cars for many years to come.

The Gallup poll also finds older adults are the most loyal to U.S. car companies.

There could be many reasons why people are less interested in buying foreign cars these days - from safety issues at Toyota to a renewed support for American makes after the bailout.

But whatever is behind the trend, new car sales at Ford, Chrysler and GM were all up last month compared to a year ago - when the industry was on the brink of collapse.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the Toyota scandal, are you less likely to buy a foreign car?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Toyota recall